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Four Suspected Militants Killed In Southwestern Pakistan, Officials Say

Pakistani security forces shot and killed four suspected militants during a raid on in the country's volatile southwest on October 18, authorities said.

A statement by the Pakistan's Counterterrorism Department said the raid took place in the Kharan district, 350 kilometers west of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province.

The statement said the four were members of the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army, designated a “terrorist” group by the United States in 2019.

It provided no further details and there was no comment from the militant group.

Balochistan -- which is Pakistan's largest and poorest province despite being rich in natural resources -- has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by separatist groups for more than two decades.

Although Pakistan claims it has stifled the insurgency, violence in the province has persisted.

On October 16, Pakistani authorities said five militants were killed in a shoot-out with security forces in the Mastung area of Balochistan.

Islamic militants are also active in the region that borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

In a separate development, a former student leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI), the party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was killed in an attack in northwestern Pakistan late on October 17.

The attack occurred while Irfan Ullah was on his way home, police told RFE/RL on October 18.

Irfanullah was the son of local PTI leader and former student leader Mir Shamad Khan.

The reason for the attack was not immediately clear but Khan told local police that his son was apparently targeted by a criminal group involved in extortion.

PTI won a landmark victory against Pakistan's ruling alliance in countrywide by-elections on October 16, securing six out of the eight contested national assembly seats.

With reporting by AP

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